On August 31 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a notice of intent that they were going to declare Kratom and its alkaloids Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine Schedule I illegal drugs in 30 days. The DEA claimed that Kratom was an imminent hazard to public health, and claimed that Kratom was deadly and caused liver toxicity, psychosis, heart problems, and a litany of other frightening symptoms, and that is why the DEA invoked an expedited temporary scheduling action, rather than the regular scheduling process which takes much longer than 30 days.
Ultimately, a multitude of Kratom users across America submitted their Kratom stories online, in addition to stories being told in person at pro-Kratom protests across the country. These stories revealed how Kratom has benefited an untold amount of lives, and literally saving countless lives as well, and that is why the DEA did not go through with declaring Kratom illegal.
Indeed, on October 13 2016 the DEA announced that they were withdrawing their notice to schedule Kratom,
The DEA specifically acknowledged that citizens’ Kratom stories were the reason Kratom wasn’t banned: “DEA has received numerous comments from members of the public challenging the scheduling action and requesting that the agency consider those comments and accompanying information before taking further action. In addition, DEA will receive from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation for these substances, which DEA previously requested.”
Notably, the DEA opened up public comments on the scheduling of Kratom through December 1 of 2016, and said they would do the following: “DEA will consider all public comments received under the above procedures, as well as FDA’s scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation for these substances. Once DEA has received and considered all of this information, DEA will decide whether to proceed with permanent scheduling of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, or both permanent and temporary scheduling of these substances.”
Further, the DEA said if they decide to schedule Kratom again, they would simply publish another notice in the Federal Register, and there would be another 30 day comment period.
The DEA has not released an official statement about Kratom since their last statement in October 2016, meaning that the DEA is still technically weighing the Kratom stories they received versus the FDA’s findings.
In other words, just like the war with North Korea, where there was an armistice decades ago but technically the United States and North Korea are still in a state of war and the war could flare up at any time, the DEA could suddenly announce that they are scheduling Kratom at any time, since the situation has not been officially resolved.
Indeed, it recently came to light that the FDA has told members of Congress that the DEA will be declaring Kratom a Schedule I drug soon, so the threat is very real and becoming more serious this year.
In order to help combat this, The Kratom Federation is collecting signatures and Kratom stories, and compiling them into one powerful document that includes all of the peer reviewed scientific information showing the safety and efficacy of Kratom, and will send this powerful document to politicians and regulators across the government.
If you haven’t signed and shared your Kratom story yet, you can do so at this link, and it will help to keep Kratom legal. Indeed, stories about how Kratom has benefited, if not saved, people’s lives is what kept Kratom legal in 2016, and just like back then, Kratom stories are the most powerful tool that we have to keep Kratom legal.